UEFA seeks research into risk of youths heading a ball

Bayern's-Thiago-Alcantara,-left,-is-challenged-by-Arsenal's-Granit-Xhaka-during-the-Champions-League-round-of-16-second-leg-soccer-match-between-Arsenal-and-Bayern-Munich-at-the-Emirates-Stadium-in-London,-Tuesday,-March-7,-2017.-(Frank-Augstein/AP)

Bayern's Thiago Alcantara, left, is challenged by Arsenal's Granit Xhaka during the Champions League round of 16 second leg soccer match between Arsenal and Bayern Munich at the Emirates Stadium in London, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (Frank Augstein/AP)

NYON, Switzerland — UEFA has asked for research proposals into the effects of young players heading the ball.

UEFA says a current lack of data "makes it hard to assess the true risk of playing football in this section of the population."

The U.S. Soccer Federation has advised its clubs to stop players aged up to 11 heading the ball, and limit how often 11 to 13-year-olds head balls each week.

The guidelines came after settlement of a concussion lawsuit filed by parents and players in a San Francisco court.

The UEFA medical committee project targets "the burden of headers" in practice and matches across European youth soccer.

It aims to "determine whether heading has any effect on the structure and function of youth players’ brains."

UEFA wants proposals by the end of June.

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